Following the shooting that occurred at Oxford High School on November 30, the Board reserved $5 million to support Oakland County's response to the tragedy, which included $600,000 that was made available immediately to the Prosecutor's Office.
First responders, communities, businesses, schools, and residents have all rallied around Oxford High School students, staff, and families following the incident. Oakland County is committed to helping the greater Oxford community address long-term mental health needs and ensuring all schools, communities, and residents have the resources they need in the aftermath of this tragedy.
If you or someone you know needs support related to this tragedy or any other mental health concerns, call or text the Common Ground Resource and Crisis Helpline at 1-800-231-1127, or chat online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.commongroundhelps.org.
Commissioners host county students for virtual Youth in Government Day
In 2021, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners partnered with MSU Extension 4-H to welcome more than 70 high school students from across the county for a virtual version of the annual Youth in Government Day. The program was reformatted to connect students with county leadership while remaining physically distant. Students participated in mock debates, spoke with elected officials and learned more about the role county government plays in their lives and communities.
Youth in Government Day featured interactive sessions facilitated by the MSU Extension 4-H Leadership & Civic Engagement team, who challenged students to think critically about media consumption, complex legislative issues and the role of local government in their lives. Attendees also participated in Q&A sessions with countywide elected officials and county commissioners.
Read more about the 2021 Youth in Government Day here.
Four Board programs honored with 2021 NACo Achievement Awards
Four Oakland County Board of Commissioners programs received 2021 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The "Safe for School" Hotline, Oakland Together Lifeline Program, Native Plant Initiative, and the Clean, Drain, Dry, Dispose Pilot Program were all recognized during NACo's Annual Conference and Exposition in July 2021.
During the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Safe for School" Hotline, in partnership with Beaumont Health, helped parents and guardians by identifying potential illness in students prior to entering a school. Over the course of two months, the hotline answered 130 calls. The Oakland Together Lifeline Program paired senior residents at several senior living residences across Oakland County with Amazon Echo Show devices to help them see and speak with loved ones to reduce isolation among during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Native Plant Initiative provided Oakland County residents with pre-assembled kits containing over a dozen assorted native plants to use in their gardens to restore damage caused by invasive and non-native species. The Clean, Drain, Dry, Dispose (CD3) Pilot Program deployed mobile boat cleaning stations to enable boat owners to clean, drain and dry their watercraft to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. One station was placed at Dodge Park #4 (Cass Lake) and the second station was moved around based on community request and need.
Started in 1970, the NACo Achievement Awards highlights innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. In total, Oakland County received 12 NACo Achievement Awards in 2021.
Read more about the Board's 2021 NACo Achievement Awards here.
Healthy Aging Ad Hoc Committee publishes Blueprint for Successful Aging
The Oakland County Healthy Aging Ad Hoc Committee continued its support for the county's older residents with full Board approval of the Blueprint for Successful Aging in December 2021. The blueprint provides strategies to make systematic change and positive measurable outcomes to address service gaps, unmet needs and opportunities for older adults to ensure they maintain a high quality of life regardless of age. The 36-page document, developed by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B), is the result of comprehensive community outreach, including four town hall meetings and multiple surveys.
To help close the gaps in existing services, the blueprint provides ten top recommendations for the county to implement, based on suggestions from community members and industry experts. Those suggestions focus on household repair and household chore programs; public transportation options; elder abuse prevention; assisting seniors with programs that provide in-home services; senior center programming and supports; reducing isolation with technology; increasing volunteerism among seniors; and additional county programming.
View the blueprint here.
New initiative supports countywide fair housing practices
County commissioners and fair housing leaders unveiled the Oakland County Fair Housing Initiative at the Ferndale Housing Commission in April 2021. The initiative, which was launched during National Fair Housing Month, aims to prevent source of income (SOI) housing discrimination and eliminate other barriers to fair housing.
As part of the Fair Housing Initiative, the Board unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing April as Fair Housing Month, which served to bring awareness to housing discrimination in our county. Commissioners also adopted a resolution to develop a local policy or ordinance that cities, villages and townships can take and use in their communities to prohibit source of income discrimination. This would make it easier for local leaders to put polices in place that protect our residents.
Additionally, a resolution to establish the "Unlocking Doors Oakland" program in partnership with the Alliance for Housing was adopted by the Board in August 2021. This program, which is the starting point for a landlord mitigation fund, could help eliminate barriers to fair housing by offering an incentive to landlords who may choose not to rent to residents based on their source of income, like housing vouchers.